Healthcare, Rehabilitation, Assistive Technology, Inclusion, and Accessible Travel & Tourism are essential for empowering People of Determination and enhancing their quality of life. The 6th edition of the AccessAbilities Expo (AAE) will focus on these issues, addressing the needs of over 1.3 billion people with disabilities, including more than 50 million living in the Middle East. AccessAbilities Expo’s Knowledge Hub will feature sessions with senior officials, experts, and specialists discussing best practices in medical care, rehabilitation, and the role of assistive technologies in promoting independence. The AAE-2024, held from October 7th to 9th in Halls 6, 7, and 8, will host about 300 exhibitors and rehabilitation centers from around 50 countries.

DAY 1 | Healthcare, Rehabilitation, and Inclusion
7 October 2024

Speakers will address the following topics to explore the best solutions facing People with Disabilities in their daily lives. According to the World Health Organization, People with Disabilities often experience poorer levels of health and face challenges in accessing rehabilitation services in several countries. The challenges include insufficient knowledge, low awareness, negative attitudes toward disability, unsatisfactory levels and high costs of accessing medical and health services. Exploring the barriers that People with Disabilities face in healthcare services will go a long way in making the required changes and offering better services.

  • The UAE is considered a healthcare pioneer. What is the level of services provided by hospitals and healthcare facilities in other countries compared to the UAE?
  • Do rehabilitation facilities operate by best practices in providing special services to People with Disabilities?
  • Do hospitals and facilities need to enlarge their services, develop more capacity and conduct continuous training to set new benchmarks for better practices?
  • Do private healthcare and rehabilitation services contribute towards improving disability conditions?
  • Are there successful social integration experiences in the government and private sectors?
  • How can we enhance the capabilities of People with Disabilities to access healthcare systems as well as ensure they respond in an appropriate and timely manner to their needs?

DAY 2 | Assistive technology and its impact on improving the quality of life and independence of People with Disabilities
8 October 2024

In the 21st century, People with Disabilities have relatively more innovative products and services that make their physical and social lives easier. Specialized services help them overcome the challenges they face in their lives.

  • How can assistive technologies help their users -People with Disabilities – become more independent and self-reliant?
  • Are there ways in which People with Disabilities can be made better users of modern technologies?
  • Do smart homes contribute to improving the quality of life of People with Disabilities and the elderly?
  • What challenges do they face in using technology in their daily lives?
  • Do companies conduct research with users to understand how technologies work, and what challenges they face with different applications?
  • Is accessible technology any closer to empowering People with Disabilities to become more independent and equal partners in our communities?
  • Do assistive devices support People with Disabilities in improving their quality of life in terms of movement, communication, and daily activities?
  • The main obstacle in ensuring higher levels of technology adoption by People with Disabilities is the affordability and the high costs of accessible technologies. What can technology companies do to reduce the cost of new technology products?

DAY 3 | Accessible Travel and Tourism
9 October 2024

The 3rd and final day of the Knowledge Hub will feature two important topics.

The first session will cover the topic of Inclusion while the second session will focus on the topic of Accessible Travel and Tourism.

Session 1: Inclusion

Inclusion represents a universal human right for all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, disability, medical needs, and other factors, ensuring equal access without barriers for everyone. Economically, the necessity for inclusion is stronger than ever in an increasingly borderless economy, where accessing the best from any segment of society is essential. Ensuring inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities not only helps eliminate discrimination in society but is also vital for overcoming obstacles in the long and complex journey toward providing an ideal living environment for every member of the community. This includes inclusion in the workplace, education, healthcare facilities, transportation services, sports, businesses, and tourist attractions.

  • Do institutions genuinely recognize and focus on the right to include people with disabilities to enhance their services to the entire community?
  • How does inclusion affect the long-term performance of institutions?
  • How does an inclusive society transform the quality of life for people with disabilities and impact the broader community?
  • How do inclusive institutions foster cultures that achieve higher levels of productivity, employee retention, engagement, morale, and innovation?
  • What are the key steps needed to make workplaces more inclusive?
  • How can the urban environment be enhanced to support broader inclusion across all sectors?
  • What role can governments play in ensuring a more inclusive workplace environment?

Session 2: Accessible Travel and Tourism

Accessible Travel & Tourism are essential for enabling People of Determination to explore the world. Tourists with disabilities and the elderly make-up about 15% of global tourists, spending billions annually. The European Accessible Tourism Network notes that the global tourism industry misses out on 142 billion euros due to inadequate infrastructure and services. This session will focus on enhancing services for tourists with disabilities through modern technologies and employee training in hotels, tourism companies, and travel agencies. The UAE is recognized as a top accessible tourist destination, with efforts from both government and private sectors to further improve services and facilities, ensuring memorable and satisfying experiences for tourists with disabilities.

  • Are destinations, tourism agencies, and travel companies improving experiences and making them enjoyable for tourists with disabilities in a real business sense?
  • Does lack of reliable information about access levels to specific destinations and their attractions impede the growth of accessible tourism?
  • Why are People with Disabilities still subjected to systemic discrimination when it comes to traveling and exploring destinations?
  • Airports, airlines, and advocacy groups are working to make air travel more accessible for travelers with disabilities. How has the scenario been changing on the grounds?
  • One of the reasons cited behind accessible tourism not taking off satisfactorily is that People with Disabilities do not have enough money at their disposal for travel and excursions. How true is this statement from a market perspective?
  • Airlines often come under scrutiny for routinely mishandling or destroying wheelchairs, making disabled passengers fearful of flying. How can this unsatisfactory scenario be transformed for better and more memorable experiences?
  • Is your company receptive and accommodating to tourists with disabilities and their families, taking into account that this large market segment suffered from a lack of services throughout these years?
  • Are the most important barriers to People with Disabilities participating in tourism activities due to ill-equipped infrastructure, rigid social attitudes, or lack of attention from officials and the tourism industry stakeholders?

For inquiries, please contact:
Ditas Pascual
General Coordinator
Mobile: +971 56 507-5187